tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 9, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PST
let the start with this tonight. who didn't fear shutting down the government said that only scaredy cats and wimps did have gotten a case of chicken. name your crazy and he or she if they're still talking at all are not talking about shutting down the government. not this week, not this january. oh, they're still talking trash about killing obama care. still talking about the debt, but guess what. they aren't talking about what they did with such bravado this september to october. suddenly the cat's got their tongue. or is it the calendar. with elections coming next year and those on the right with any iq have noticed the one time the democrats saw their numbers go skyward was when the republicans played stupid party and turned themselves into the nincompoops of the potomac and shut done the government. tonight we look at this strange new world, scared to death at the second there's talk of closing it the democrats will open up another big lead in public confidence. who would have believed it would only take a month to teach the tea party that no government is bad politics. david corn for mother jones and howard fineman for "the huffington post" both msnbc political analysts. i know there are still questions about february. but this week when it looks like they might have a budget deal and january when the continuing
resolution comes up for continuing, it looks like they've decided not to go all-out crazy again. is this pure politics or grownup behavior or a mix? >> well, don't count your non-shutdowns before they happen. because there are 20 or so house gop'ers. trying to put together something app ten it's probably going to be above the sequestered budget cut level. which a lot of tea party types don't want to see. so john boehner may still be looking at if not a real rebellion, some mini rebellion on his side. and the big question will be whether he can put that down again. >> i'm sorry, david. david, it's not -- it's not the same decibel level it was. >> not at all. ted cruz is not out there saying
we must stop this. they want to avoid it. the question is whether they can really do what they need to to not have a shutdown. >> howard, what's your take on this? it looks to me like they really don't want it to happen again. it's a unpopular time for politicians. they know they were in that tank all the way through september through october. >> all politics is a matter of comparison, as you know, as you just said. and also the mitch mcconnell said the other week that as they say in kentucky, there's no education in the second kick of a mule. and i think he certainly regards this as another shutdown as a second kick of the mule. and i think not only mitch who felt that way for some time, but all those loud voices from ted cruz especially from mike lee, from rand paul, from et cetera, you don't hear them right now. as you said, they're making some noises about how we don't want
to trade sequester cuts unless there's a firm guarantee amended mandatory spending cuts. we don't want the extension of unemployment insurance. but these are discussions of actual details of a possible budget plan, not the sort of throwing down the gauntlet kind of, we're going to shut the whole joint down, thing we were hearing. you're not hearing that at all. and i think at least temporarily the biggest names in the tea party -- there's 20 people in the house who signed that letter. frankly, those are the last drags in the bottom of the teacup. they don't mean a whole lot. it's the rand pauls, ted cruzs, mike lees who matter. and they are conspicuous by their silent at this point. >> despite all this talk about big government being evil, the people do miss it. the government once it ceases to
be available it begins to look pretty good. anyway, you won't find much agreement in the republican party these days, but there is at least some consensus by shutting down the government was a dumb idea. while the strategy did whip much of the party into a frenzy, it backfired come october. the damage it caused hasn't been lost on red hots even like rand paul or party leaders like mitch mcconnell, even tea party leaders like jim jordan believe it was misguided. that's an understatement. here's a bit of their postmortem in the last shutdown. >> it was a dumb idea. even though it appears i was participating in it, i said it was a dumb idea. >> everyone can monday morning quarterback and hindsight's wonderful. but we should have in my judgment simply focused on delaying obama care. >> a number of us were saying in july the strategy could not and would not work, and of course, it didn't.
>> which is why budget negotiators on capitol hill right now are racing to reach some kind of an agreement before a self-imposed friday the 13th deadline. if the efforts fail and nothing passes in both houses before january 15th, that's the end of the continuing, the government will once again shut down again. basically a gop truce out there. because after the public relations disaster suffered by republicans as a result of the october shutdown of the u.s. government, few conservatives are showing any interest in a repeat performance. i'm going back to david to see if i can win the argument this time. i don't think people like to see the federal government which they pay for not doing anything. i don't think they like paying for government employees getting paid two or three months later for not having shown up. the whole idea runs against the basic notion of republican politics that work is good, sloughing off and closing down
is not good. production is good so non-production is worse. it just seems to be a stupid way to make a point if you're the right wing party or the conservative party. it's a dumb way to argument. it's a job action. people don't like job actions. >> chris, chris, that's obviously. >> it is? i thought i had to teach you. i thought i had to argue the case with you. >> no, no, no. the obvious smart move for the republicans is to avoid another government shutdown. the question is whether they can because, again, it may require john boehner to cut off that tea party tail that's been wagging his dog for so many months. there will be people in the house who will not go along with this deal. and we've seen in the past when boehner hasn't been able to deliver his party, may have to go to nancy pelosi and get democratic votes to pass this thing. he doesn't want a shutdown.
that's clear. the question is to what degree the heritage action, all the outside tea party groups and the tea party drags is howard described them, what type of a fight they put up. >> howard, let's get to the heart of your thoughts on this. it seems to me, when you have a car and it keeps running when you turn it off, it's called pre-ignition. i get this sense they can't control the crazies because they encourage the crazies most of the time. every once in awhile they try to turn them off. wee see how they go after mandela in a way and they're going after him and blaming anybody like newt gingrich or ted cruz for saying anything nice. they can't stop the bachmanns with the gohmerts because these people are so deadly out of it. >> i think those people are for the most part from red gerrmandered districts.
who don't at this point if they ever did have any thoughts of national office. what you've got going on with people like rand paul and marco rubio and ted cruz is having won their bona fides for the most part with the tea party base, they're looking to expand a little. i know somebody like ted cruz is looking for democrats to do some deals with in a bipartisan fashion. they're looking to change the tone. not their tactics. i mean, not their ultimate objectives, chris. not their philosophy, but a slight change of tone and tactics at least for now. >> so they're going from mccarthy to nixon. >> well, that's in many ways a good analogy. after nixon lost, he had to reach out. he had to do more deals with the democrats. i think you're seeing some of that right now. how long it will last isn't clear. i think it's just possible that it'll be long enough to get some kind of deal. but the real sticking point, chris, is going to be i think what the democrats are going to
insist on to provide the votes in the house to get this thing passed. on the left-hand side of the ledger, you've got the question of unemployment insurance. and that's something the democrats don't -- even if dick durbin wants to give up on it in the senate, the house democrats don't necessarily want to do the same. >> by the way, you start, howard. what's the chance we'll have a shut down promised by the end of this week that they won't be able to agree on this limited budget agreement? >> we won't have a shutdown. they'll do a cr if they have to. there's not going to be another shutdown now. next spring is another deal. if they have a budget deal, they've got to pass individual bills. that could cause problems. then there's another debt ceiling coming up in february. we'll get through the holiday season, i think, without a shutdown. >> david, you've got a scary scenario. you say they'll get through this because they want to get through christmas. they'll do the nice now. and you're saying that come february next year, the whole thing starts over again.
the red hots even cruz himself will lead the charge to go right off that cliff again if they can on the debt ceiling. and default. >> i think possibly. >> i think they're probably more likely to draw the line with another budget issue if one comes up in the next few months. i would say there's probably a 5% to 10% chance that the budget deal they're talking about now collapses. they try to get a cr by january 15th. and that just doesn't come together right away for all the reasons that we didn't have one last time. and then, you know, i think they want to probably duck the debt ceiling issue. so, listen, there is a possibility that come january 15th, end of the month, everything will be put aside for the next year or two and we can just have fights the old fashioned way. which would be, i think, probably good for the nature. >> i go back to my car preignition problem. i think there's a lot of crazy rights on the right who all these people are scared of. they're afraid they do anything that looks like a compromise, even one word and it looks like 15 minute compromise will kill you on the right.
then you'll find yourself with a primary opponent. >> then the rand pauls and the marco rubios will be trying to outdo each other in appealing to that group. that sets up the dynamic that set up where we were last year. >> thank you. coming up, the national journal. the national journal has a story today entitled "clueless, heartless, and gutless: today's gop." what a statement. the reason? rand paul calls extending unemployment insurance a disservice to these workers. that's orwellian. that's supposedly a good thing. also can lightning strike again for democrats? tea partiers are going after seven seats out there held by republicans. maybe will get nominated and maybe the democrats can pick off a seat or two. and what happened when newt gingrich and ted cruz posted respectful tributes to nelson
mandela? they were savaged by right wing critics who portrayed mandela as a terrorist. if that doesn't smell of racism out there, nothing will. finally, if you've got a birther on your christmas list, have we got a gift for you. get it now before supplies run out. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ [ male announcer ] ever wonder why no other mouthwash feels like listerine®? because no other mouthwash works like listerine®. in your mouth, bacteria forms in layers. listerine® penetrates these layers deeper than other mouthwashes, killing bacteria all the way down to the bottom layer. so for a cleaner, healthier mouth, go with the mouthwash dentists recommend more than all others combined. #1 dentist recommended listerine®... power to your mouth™. [ fewinter is hard ] on your face. #1 dentist recommended listerine®... [ sneezes ] [ female announcer ] the start of sneeze season. the wind-blown watery eyes.
[ sniffling ] the sniffling guy on the bus. and, of course, the snow angels with your little angels. that's why puffs plus lotion is soft. puffs plus are dermatologist tested to be gentle. they help soothe irritated skin by locking in moisture better. so you can always put your best face forward. a face in need deserves puffs indeed. president obama and first lady michelle obama are on their way to south africa for tomorrow's memorial for nelson mandela. they left this morning on air force one along with former president george w. bush, laura bush, and hillary clinton. bill clinton's traveling separately from rio and jimmy carter will join them in johannesburg as well. only the second time in history that the current president and three former ones are together on foreign soil. also making the trip, texas republican senator ted cruz. senate democrats were asked not to go because of their busy legislative calendar this week.
on the house side, aaron schock is leading a 24-member delegation. many of those members are for the congressional black caucus. president obama will speak tomorrow at the service which you can watch right here on msnbc beginning at 4:00 a.m. eastern. that's tomorrow in the morning. we'll be right back after this.
welcome back to "hardball." if conservatives like senator rand paul get their way, unemployment assistance will be cut to as many as 1.3 million americans at the end of this month. merry christmas to them. the program that provides benefits is set to expire at the end of this year. there's little appetite from the right to extend it. here was rand paul yesterday explaining what his problem is with the program. >> i do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they're paid for. if you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers. there's a study that came out a few months ago, and it said if you have a worker that's been unemployed for four weeks on unemployment insurance and one
for 99 weeks, which would you hire? nearly every employer said they would hire the person who's been out of work four weeks. when you allow it for weeks, you're causing them to be part of the perpetual unemployed. >> he thinks it's a disservice by providing them benefits implying they lose the motivation to get a job. those benefits account for half or less of their previous salaries. former utah governor and republican presidential candidate jon huntsman responded to senator paul this morning on "morning joe." >> this is language that's suitable for the republican primary. plain and simple. this isn't the language that's good for all americans and it gets us closer to solving the problem. >> president obama also used his weekly address this saturday to highlight what's at stake here.
>> if members of congress don't act before they leave on their vacations, 1.3 million americans will lose this lifeline. these are people we know. they're our friends and our neighbors. they sit next to us in church and volunteer in our communities. their kids play with our kids. and they include 20,000 veterans who served this country with honor. >> ron reagan is a political analyst and jonathan capehart is an msnbc contributor. ron, this sort of old republican thing here about making fun of people because they're unemployed, i think of factory towns where the factory closes. and it's very hard to imagine just pulling up stakes and heading to some other part of the world to get a job. but that's what i guess rand paul thinks they ought to do quick as hell. and the idea the unemployed want to be unemployed is crazy because everybody hates being unemployed. everybody i met hated it except for a short time, nobody wants to watch television all day when they could be an active part of society and proud of themselves.
>> well, it's another example that the republicans or particular republicans of being just counterfactual on the one hand. there are no studies that indicate that, you know, if you receive unemployment, you then don't want to work. and from a common sense point of view, how do you imagine that somebody who's already earned an inadequate salary is now going to be satisfied earning half of that money to sit on the couch. of course they're not. of course they're going to go out and look for work. and in fact, studies indicate that by receiving unemployment insurance, you actually -- you give people the opportunity to go out and seek work. and they will seek work more often or for longer. >> i'm with you. let me ask you, jonathan. my wife's in the hotel business. every time a hotel or another restaurant opens in a big city, you know what it looks like? it looks like around the block. people that don't have special skills, but are ready to work and want to work tomorrow morning line up around the buildings. it goes on forever sometimes.
all those people according to the right wing, they're just sitting home -- here's a good picture of it. all you got to do is put something in the paper. somebody's opening up a job opportunity people feel they can fill, and they pour into these lines. these are not people looking to watch television tomorrow morning. they're looking to be at work. your thoughts. >> i agree completely. at "the washington post," there are job fairs at at "washington post" and the lobby is filled with people dressed to the nines hoping to impress a recruiter, resumes in hand hoping to get a job or get a better job. this idea, again, that people are lazy. that's the thing that i find most offensive. people aren't on unemployment insurance because they like getting the money because they don't like working. folks are on unemployment -- are getting unemployment because they're having a hard time working. people forget. the economy imploded in 2008. people needed help.
what we have now is a situation where you have more job applicants than jobs available. >> the ratio is wide. >> what they're going to do to create jobs. >> before you give up the point, let's see what one of your rivals has to say. he explains the reasoning behind the cuts has been misguided. quote, this is paul krugman of the times. the gop answer to the problem of long-term unemployment is to increase the pain of long-term unemployed. cut off benefits and they'll find jobs. how will they find jobs when there are three times as many job seekers as job vacancies? details, details. the unemployment do not -- extended unemployment insurance benefits in the most recent recession prompted some people who otherwise would have dropped out of the workforce to stay a little longer. here we go.
ron, this is a basic republican argument. i'm getting back to the politics. why do they say that? why is rand paul -- i know he's an ayn rand conservative. i got to tell you, howard rourke, john gall. they wouldn't collect unemployment i guess. they're dynamos. they're titans of industry. is that where the values are coming from? >> or they're sociopaths. >> that's your reading. you're tough. anyway, what do you think is driving a guy who wants to be president to say something that's obviously going to stagger a lot of people in the middle? >> well, it was said before that he's really running in a primary season now. he's speaking to the faithful. he's speaking to the base who really do buy into that 47% makers and takers kind of thing. they really do think if you're unemployed it's your fault. you're somehow morally bereft.
if you'd lived right, you'd have a job and you'd be fine. so that's underlying a lot of this stuff. >> i won't mention towns but they're around the midwest and northeast, you drive through town the only thing left is a blockbuster and a diner. and rusty factory. where are you supposed to work in that operation? three to four people work in the blockbuster or hollywood whatever it is. somebody else works at the diner. everybody else is unemployed. what are you supposed to do? move. >> yeah. as jonathan pointed out, there simply aren't the jobs for the people available. >> we know what's going on. thank you ron reagan and jonathan capehart. up next, the must-have holiday gift for the birther on your list. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. .
back to "hardball." time for the sideshow. joe biden, not guilty. he took flack for a comment he made at a firm in japan on wednesday. speaking to a group of female employees, he asked a question about their husbands. listen up. >> do your husbands like you working full-time? >> many slammed him saying he was disapproving of working in the work place. as "the washington post" later reported, the vice president's remarks were on target just taken out of context. the purpose of his visit, after all, was to promote the need for japan to accept more women in the workforce. biden wanted to support shinzo abe's push for women to augment the shrinking workforce in a nation with a rapidly aging population and plummeting birthrate. up next, released a christian
ornament featuring a picture of a cardinal. last week jimmy kimmel took some artistic license of his own with this parody of president bush's newfound hobby. >> well, i've become a painter. and i painted a cardinal for a friend of ours, and laura liked the bright red on the cardinal and the greens of the foliage. i chose my painting to become the christmas card and ornament and i'm flattered. i hope my painting meets expectations. >> george's original art will be on our christmas card and part of the christmas ornament for our christmas.
>> and there's a new publication about senator ted cruz out this week. it's a children's coloring book called cruz to the future. while the publisher calls ate a fact-driven view, it's anything but. listen to this excerpt from the book. quote, millions of citizens believe obama care is worse than any war. at least american soldiers have weapons with which to defend themselves. another quote claims that president obama's administration will use any opportunity to go after the second amendment right and other constitutional rights such as free speech. that's indoctrination. if that doesn't make your list this season, maybe this will. a china ware company is serving a serving tray with president obama's birth certificate. it's the perfect holiday gift for the birther in your family. i can think of some. up next, the political civil war. hoping new fights on the right may cost the republicans a couple of winnable senate seats.
welcome back to "hardball." there's a new front in the republican civil war out there. incumbent republican senators, many of them who would have a good chance of winning in a general election are being challenged by the far right of their own party. the latest challenge is against thad cochran. his challenger has a running start and support from the club for growth which sponsored this ad which you'll notice includes the tea party symbol. the don't tread on me flag. >> washington's a mess. bailouts, record debts, government-run health care. career politicians bankrupting our country. had enough? chris mcdaniel has backbone. in the legislature he stood up to the big spenders in both parties. in court he represented mississippi against obama care. chris mcdaniel, the new, strong
conservative leader mississippi needs. >> wow. me wave is spreading in the plains and southern states. here's where it stands right now. in wyoming, mike enzi faces a nasty challenge from liz cheney. in kansas, senior senator pat roberts also elected in '96 is being primaried by a tea party backed radiologist. in tennessee, facing a tea party backed opponent. in kentucky mitch mcconnell has to first tango with a republican opponent before taking on a democratic one who's up by two points. and in mississippi as i mentioned, senator thad cochran has got to fight his own party. in georgia there's at least eight republicans vying to replace the retiring senator saxby chambliss. lindsey graham faces a crowded field of republicans to unseat him. these are the faces of powerful republican senators who are forced to defend their seats against their own party. michael steele's an expert.
he's a former chair of rnc and political analyst. michelle goldberg writes for the nation. let's be sophisticated about this. some of these states are so conservative that probably the most conservative will win no matter what. south carolina, mississippi. i'm trying to think of the other one. maybe wyoming. there's no way a republican loses the general election unless they're a witch or a nut. so basically there's no danger here. but in four of these seven races reasonably close to the states. so there is some danger there of creating a situation where whoever wins the primary is so far drawn to the right incumbent or challenger they have lost a chance of winning a state which is really safe for the rs. >> i'd agree with that, chris. i would take south carolina out of that first bucket of guaranteed conservative win come next fall if, you know, you have
the wrong candidate there. south carolina as we've seen with north carolina, georgia, and elsewhere in the south has a very sophisticated general electorate. and so the party has to be, i think, cognizant of these changes certainly at the grassroots level. more broadly speaking, it's about managing a relationship with a burgeoning and still growing tea party element within the party. well, affiliated with the party. these folks are not necessarily inside the party. they're not republican hard core activists in that sense. these are a lot of folks who have been disaffected or moved out of the party who are coming back in through a different door. the party's not managed that well over the past few years. >> the tea party's still growing. we may offer a different point of view sometimes, but i got to tell you i sense it's out there and festering.
i don't think the center of the republican party has been zrong enough to take it on. >> well, the republican party is kind of nurturing the conservative movement for decades. they can't just say it's no longer working for us. we were kidding. their infrastructure has spread massive amounts of information about obama, about -- and also just about kind of the nature of the country. the idea this is a christian nation under siege. and now people believe it. >> that's bottom line here. it seems to me our producers were talking today, it's not just who wins these primaries. and they'll end up republican. the danger is the republican you get in the senate will be an out right obstructionist. an incumbent has to go so far right that he'll be saying no to everything obama or anybody else offers for the next years. will come in as an absolute obstructionist.
what does that do to our country when you have states that have marked themselves off for obstructionism? >> i mean, i think we're in a lot of trouble. in part because these aren't going to be like todd akins. a lot of cases, whoever wins the primary is going to win the election. and so this is just kind of a warning to all republicans that you can't compromise at all. that you can't -- i mean, one of the chris mcdaniel's points against thad cochran is he voted to end the shutdown. so don't vote to end the shutdown. >> i was going to say that's very true, but some of that's going to get worked out in the primary as well. i think chris' question is going to be the one that even some primary voters will ask themselves. so what would be your plan? and so, that's why i say in states like south carolina, it's not a given that it naturally falls a certain way just because it's south and conservative. >> let's look at this web ad
against mitch mcconnell. here's the further conservative primary opponent hitting the senate minority leader hard for what he does, compromise and govern. look at this one. >> some critics say the election would be a shoe in for him if he were a leader. >> conservatives in your conference not happy about this deal. >> it's much better for democrats than republicans. they don't have to give up that much. >> all the talk of defunding, dismantling obama care, there's none of that in there. >> we're trying to do everything we can to stop it. >> he doesn't back the end of obama care. >> essentially what he's doing is giving up on the defund obama care fight. >> when mainstream reporters note he's doing a decent job of leadership, they screw him. is that right? >> that's right. you did your job. you actually moved us from a
place of stalemate to a place where the country would move forward. and that is -- that should not be the calling card of, you know, of a bad candidate. but in fact or bad elected official but someone who's getting the job done. mitch mcconnell realizes he's between a rock and a very hard place in his state right now. and particularly in this primary. he's also looking at a general election challenger who can be very effective against him. in a state like michigan, it's not a fore gone conclusion that a mitch mcconnell would get re-elected if he's too badly bruised going into that campaign. >> i was out with a bunch of people, i think a lot of them were liberals. i was speaking at a literary group not a bad assumption. >> we read too. >> but allison lundgren is ahead by points and holding. thank you so much, michael steele and michelle goldberg.
unsuccessful ticket for a governor and lieutenant governor of virginia have very different plans for their futures. ken cuccinelli who lost by two and a half points says he won't run for senator against mark warner next year. and suggests he might not run for elected office ever again. but his running mate e.w. jackson is soldiering on, you might say. jackson who lost the lieutenant governor's race by 11 points says he's starting a political action committee to push conservative causes like protecting virginia's same-sex marriage ban and also school vouchers. i guess when you can't win, you can't lose. we'll be right back.
one. in the days following the death of nelson mandela, some conservatives have trotted out old smears against the former south african leader. now two of the republicans' biggest rabble-rousers have found themselves the biggest targets for publicly praising mandela. gingrich paid tribute on facebook saying quote, president nelson mandela was one of the greatest leaders of our life time. his thoughtful, disciplined but friendly personality made him a leader who could define the right policies and behaviors. nelson mandela was truly the father of an integrated, democratic south africa. he got scathing responses. here's what he told cnn's candy crowley about it. >> i was very surprised by it. we were amazed at some of the intensity some of whom came back three or four times saying how upset they were. basically i entitled it what
would you have done. if your pro freedom, you can't possibly be tolerant of apartheid. >> and ted cruz received similar fair after paying respects on his facebook page. quote, nelson mandela will live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe. he stood firm for decades on the principle that until all south africans enjoyed equal liberties, he would not leave prison himself. because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free. well, one comment to cruz wrote, quote, ted, long before you were born his reputation was the complete opposite. he was, in fact, a terrorist and a criminal. he persecuted and killed zulus. all that apartheid bs you hear in today's media is lies. eugene robinson is an msnbc political analyst. and clarence page is a columnist with the chicago tribune. gentlemen, i'm going to give you free reign here.
i think this exposes the bug life under the rock. every couple months you get a look at it, and there are the bugs, the ones to the right of ted cruz, who will not permit a kind statement -- excuse me -- about someone of color. it's that, and if it's anything more, i think it's bs. i think this is what this is about, because mandela spent 27 years in prison, and he came out and he argued for the case for capitalism. one of the points made in bill cowher's excellent obituary in "the new york times" time was how much grief he took for trying to bring capital corporations, investors into south africa so that country could boom. he worked very hard to build a mixed economy. and calling him a commie or a marxist is so wrong. it must have some other ambition behind it. your thoughts, gene? >> well, mine are the same as yours, chris. i think we know what's behind it, and it doesn't surprise me that there are some of these people out there, because, in fact, i hear from a few of them who, you know, fairly regularly, as a matter of fact. but you know, look, they're kind
of going out of their way and around history to go after mandela and his memory based on nothing, based on a record that they're essentially making up. and why are they making it up? well, you know, i think it's race. it's got to be race. >> that's what i think. your thoughts, clarence. you may have a different view, i don't know. i don't know. >> to me, it's like deja vu all over again, chris, because in the '70s, '76, when i first went to south africa, this was the line from the right. you had jerry falwell and various others who were parodying what the national ruling in apartheid south africa was putting out at that time, that nelson mandela is a communist, terrorist, et cetera, et cetera. >> well, pat quinn wanted to go down there -- i think he went down there to cause trouble. >> right, right. >> you think? >> you know, everything's turned upside down since then, you know? for one thing, we've seen now the real nelson mandela. as you said, he advanced capitalism. in fact, of all people, the
chinese taught him the virtues of capitalism back in the early '90s after he got out of prison, because you know, by then, as we know now, now china has made state capitalism into an art form. >> they're everywhere out there. >> but you know, the thing is, i was reading somebody's responses ted cruz and newt gingrich got and these are people who have been locked in ice or something since the '70s or '80s. >> cryogenics -- >> don't let facts get in the way. >> i should say, here is some of the reaction newt gingrich received in response to his statement on nelson mandela. "newt, i was rooting for you to win the primaries and become the next president. please tell me you're joking. mandela was a commie murderer. such a amazing rewrite of history. newt, i thought you of all people, a historian, would be true to who this person really was. go to hell, newt! not you, newt! someone, you are so-called historian! this man was a communist and murdered many people!"
they won't quit. your thoughts, gene. >> well, who nelson mandela really was, i think we know who nelson mandela really was. and you know, i suppose, if you wanted to take this at all seriously, you could say that these are people who have some sort of knee-jerk reaction against any sort of antiestablishmentarian action such as that taken by the anc, but if you're going to put nelson mandela in that terrorist category, you'd have to put george washington there for rebelling against the british in the name of freedom. i mean, that's -- >> gene, suppose there was a country where blacks held the whites in servitude, made them carry passbooks, wouldn't allow them to do anything. do you think somebody might be looking to their second amendment rights to try to change this? >> yeah. >> familiar. >> it sounds like it's a different standard, like this woman out in nevada -- "i might have to use my second amendment rights." suppose the president was from another tribal group or a
different racial ethnic group and you had no rights. do you think you might resort to those second amendment? the idea of saying he resorted to violence is like saying george washington resorted to violence. >> exactly, exactly, exactly. that's the parallel that comes to mind. and look, you know, nelson mandela and his memory will live on aeons, centuries beyond the point at which these people are forgotten and their warped sense of history is forgotten. so, i don't think anyone will allow it to sully their memory of a great man. >> it's making ted cruz look good, i guess. >> yeah. >> are you willing to go that far? >> yeah, he looks reasonable! how refreshing, you know? >> he's the only senator going down for the funeral services this week because harry reid's keeping everybody else working hard. i guess cruz doesn't mind being away without leave. anyway, thank you -- >> he doesn't mind the television cameras at all, chris. >> anyway, cruz's supporters expressed disappointment as well about his post honoring nelson
mandela. here are a few examples of the comments left on cruz's facebook page. "senator cruz, you need to study your history. he was a glorified terrorist." "senate cruz, it's better to say nothing about mandela's death than praise him. i had such high hopes for you, and now that's lowered significantly. i'm disappointed in your expression of admiration for this marxist, senator cruz." well, i think we know where this is coming from. two pulitzer prize-winners, eugene robinson -- by the way, if i had a pulitzer prize, it's be my middle name. clarence page as well, thank you. we'll be right back. but at least i can help keep their underwear clean. that's why there's charmin ultra strong. i'll take that. go get 'em, buddy! it cleans so well and you can use up to four times less than the leading bargain brand. [ female announcer ] charmin ultra strong has a duraclean texture that's soft and more durable to help your kids get clean while still using less. and it's four times stronger than the leading bargain brand. wow, you cleaned up a lot!
"let me finish" tonight with this. don't you love it? the past few days have shown once again the true nature of some of those on the country's right. listen to them out there attacking people like ted cruz and newt gingrich for daring to say nice things about nelson mandela. don't these people know that you're not supposed to sound like a racist? don't they know it's not nice to make fun of a person so recently deceased, much less the world's most honored champion of human freedom? glorified terrorists, commie murderer, marxist. i wonder how many of these unnamed people preferred the white, racist government that preceded mandela's election. do they really believe that apartheid is a lie cooked up by the media? well, the weird product of this moment is to see the wild right is so wild that not even ted cruz can keep the dirt ball under control. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now.
good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. five days, that's how many days congress has to get its act together to pass an extension of unemployment insurance. >> i do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they're paid for. if you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers. when you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual, unemployed group in our economy, and it really, while it seems good, it actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help. >> i mean, first of all, almost no one is getting 99 weeks. federal unemployment insurance benefits kick in after a person's state benefits run out and range between 14 to 47 weeks, depending on the state, but senator rand paul is trying to provide a gop rationale for allowing those benefits to expire. without the extension, far too mame